Art and Experience: The top two awards at Cannes Critics Week went to “Makala,” the second documentary from Emmanuel Gras, and the Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa drama “Gabriel and the Mountain” on Thursday.
“Makala” is an intimate portrait of Kabwita Kasongo, a family man in the Congo who works in charcoal production. The film won the Nespresso Grand Prize, while “Gabriel and the Mountain” won the Visionary prize and Gan Foundation award. “Gabriel and the Mountain” follows a young man named Gabriel Buchmann who travels the world for a year before enrolling in college in the U.S., ultimately arriving in Kenya and reaching the top of Mount Mulanje, Malawi, “his last destination.” The film is based on the true story.
Léa Mysius’ “Ava,” the coming-of-age story about a young girl who goes blind, won the SACD prize.
The 56th edition of the Cannes Critics’ Week sidebar included 11 feature films, six of which came from first-time directors and five of which were second films. The sidebar is dedicated to films coming from first- and second-time filmmakers, and always promises a fertile ground for discovering new and emerging talent. Last year’s breakout title was Julia Ducournau’s horror film “Raw,” which sold to Focus World.
The jury of this year’s Critics Week was led by Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho and comprised of IndieWire’s Eric Kohn, Diana Bustamante Escobar, Hania Mroué and Niels Schneider.